I've heard people say it many times. At one point of my life I struggled with what I thought about it. What am I talking about? This statement: "People don't change." Basically, the core of this idea is the belief that men and women just are what they are, and they remain what they are until they die.
When I read the Bible, however, I see a very different line of thought on this.
Here are just two thoughts for our consideration:
(1). Paul wrote "be transformed by the renewing of your mind" in Romans 12:2. That word "transformed" was "metamorphoo" in the original Greek. That was where we got our modern word "metamorphosis", which has to do with experiencing change. An example of this in nature is how a caterpillar changes into a butterfly. Paul was encouraging the Romans to let God change them from the inside out.
(2). In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Paul wrote about people who messed up sexually, worshipped false gods, stole, were always wanting more, drank too much, and practiced no self control over their mouths. Then, in the very next verse (11), he stated, "And that is what some of you were." Paul's point was that some of the Corinthian Christians had experienced radical changes in their life.
It is my firm belief that yes, people can and do indeed change when they allow God to work in their hearts, minds, and lives. Transformation does take place, and people are no longer what they used to be. From the inside out, God makes individuals new creatures and their old lives simply exist no more.
God takes alcoholics and makes them sober.
God takes hardened inmates and makes prison missionaries.
God takes the sexually promiscuous and makes them pure.
God takes negative, pessimistic souls and makes them joyful.
God takes quick-tempered hot-heads and makes peaceful.
God takes sinners and makes them saints.
I know this: God has changed me, and continues to do so. I'm so thankful for His ongoing, transformative work in my life. No, I am not yet everything I should be. But, thanks be to God, I am not what I used to be.
Don't give up on people who appear to be a lost cause of faults and mishaps. And don't give up on yourself if you've made a royal mess of things. God can, and does, change people. He miraculously takes ugly, broken lives and reworks them into beautiful masterpieces.
God can change you.
God can change me.
God can change us all.